When the president-elect assumes office, his administration will be allowed to terminate or modify contracts with the construction firms building the wall.
Ending construction on President Donald Trump’s border security wall could save American taxpayers a whopping $2.6 billion, a US Army Corps of Engineers estimate shows.
According to a Wednesday report from The Washington Post, this projection is based on Biden delivering on his promise to pull the plug on the wall immediately after taking office on Jan. 20.
Throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump promised that Mexico would “pay for” the “big, beautiful” wall, a divisive symbol of Trump’s immigration legacy.
However, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) estimates show that the Trump administration obtained a total of $15 billion in US funds for the project. That was enough to pay for 738 miles of wall.
Most of the money to fund construction of the wall came from previous Department of Defense appropriations destined elsewhere, while roughly a third of the funding came from Congress.
Biden: Not Under My Administration
Contractors have built 423 miles of the wall. But President-elect Joe Biden told reporters in August that if he were elected president, “There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration.”
“I’m going to make sure that we have border protection, but it’s going to be based on making sure that we use high-tech capacity to deal with it. And at the ports of entry—that’s where all the bad stuff is happening,” he added.
RELATED: Joe Biden Admits Mistakes in Immigration During Obama Administration. Here’s His Plan to Reform Immigration.
When the president-elect assumes the presidency, his administration will be allowed to terminate or modify contracts with the construction firms building the wall.
A Hefty Price Tag
However, there’s a caveat: companies can bill the government for crew withdrawal, materials and equipment for the barrier. The cost of this could amount to as much as $700 million, according to the Post.
For this reason, earlier in the week CBP acting Commissioner Mark Morgan told the press that Biden’s plan to stop construction on the wall would be a “waste of taxpayer money” amounting to billions of dollars.
Moving to Keep a Promise
Aside from moving quickly to stop new border wall construction, as well as end Trump’s national emergency declaration, Biden has pledged to lift the annual cap on displaced refugees from just 15,000 in 2020 to 125,000 next year, and reopen the borders to asylum seekers who are now made to wait in other countries.